PHYS 410/510 , Mathematical Methods for Scientists, Spring 2013
This page and its links contain
all of the general information you need for this course, and they will be updated
frequently. Please check this page regularly, and make sure you hit your browser's
`Reload' button so you get the latest version.
Time and Location:
TR 12:00 - 1:50 in 318 WIL
Speaking of time, here is pretty accurate time courtesy of NIST :
Table of Contents, and Lecture Notes :
The table of contents will be updated as the
course proceeds. This is a newly developed experimental course. My
lecture notes are accordingly messy, hard to read, and I will keep
modifying them as we go along. I will scan and post them section by
section after we finish each section, but you will probably find them of limited
utility. I will write everything I say on the
board, so if you take good notes, then by the end of the term you'll
have your own set of my lecture notes.
real: I'll try to keep an open office policy. Catch me after class if possible;
otherwise, just stop by my office. If I'm really busy I'll kick you
out, but usually I'll be able to accomodate you if I'm in. If your schedule
and mine turn out to never overlap, send email and make an appointment.
virtual: anytime. My e-mail response time is rarely longer than a few
hours, and usually it is much shorter.
office: 463 WIL
office hours: W 9:00-10:00
Textbooks and other helpful material:
These are books that I used heavily in preparing the lecture notes. They are NOT required, and my lectures are designed to be
self-contained. They all are excellent reference texts, but make sure you really like a book before you buy it. If you find
some other books more useful for background reading or reference, by all means use those.
Midterm : Tuesday, May 7, in class
Final: Thursday, Jun 13, 8:00 - 9:45, 318 WIL
Your grade will be mostly based on the exams (see below), but it will be next to
impossible to do well on the exams
unless you have spent a lot of time and effort on the homework problems.
Homework will be graded and count for 25% of the class grade.
If your performance on the final is better than on the midterm, the
final will count 75% and the midterm will not count. If your performance on the
midterm is better than
on the final, the midterm will count 25% and the final will count 50%.
In marginal cases participation in class will be taken into
Homework, and Lecture Notes:
The homework problems are an integral part of the course, and spending
substantial time on the homework will be essential for understanding the
material discussed in class. One can learn very little by just reading
a book, or listening to lectures, so make sure you allow adequate time for
doing the homework problems. Also, doing well on the exam will be next to
impossible without a thorough understanding of the homework problems.
Homework problems will be assigned weekly on Thursday via a posting in pdf
format on this page, and will be due the following Thursday at 5pm in [location TBA].
I will post my solutions, also in pdf format. We will use roughly one quarter of
total class time (usually in the form of one hour on Thursday) to discuss the
solutions of the homework problems.
Collaborating on the homework is okay, and even
encouraged. You should make sure, however, that you really understand the
material yourself rather than just tagging along, or you will be in for
an unpleasant surprise at exam time.
I will also make my (hand written) lecture notes available in pdf format.
Please keep in mind, however, that anybody else's lecture notes, including the
lecturer's, are next to useless unless you have your own set taken by YOU. My
notes are only meant as a permanent record of my blackboard art to check against.
Lecture notes will be posted in pdf format as the course progresses. You can
access them through the table of contents link .